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How To Reduce Your Risk of a Home Fire

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Reduce Your Risk of a Home Fire Situate space heaters a safe distance away from flammable materials

How To Reduce the Risk of a Home Fire

Homeowners in the United States report more than 300,000 fires every year. Many fires are preventable or can be extinguished before major damage occurs. Learn about the most common fire causes and how you can reduce the risk of a home fire at a residence in Gladstone, TN.

In the Kitchen

Kitchens have hot appliances, and many recipes involve the use of flammable cooking oil or grease. Here are several ways to avoid cooking fires:

  • Don't leave food unattended.
  • Set a timer if you must leave the kitchen.
  • Keep food packaging and towels away from hot burners.
  • Only bake or microwave with approved materials.

If a grease fire starts, try to smother the flames with baking soda, salt, and either a metal pan lid or another pan. The pressurized release of retardant from a fire extinguisher may spread the fire.

Regarding Home Heating

Furnaces and space heaters are two of the most common fire causes. Have the furnace regularly inspected. Situate space heaters a safe distance away from flammable materials and only use while attended.

Throughout The House

Several home fire safety considerations apply throughout a residence. In general, you should exercise caution with open flames and avoid common electrical problems:

  • Only burn candles when you are present.
  • Do not light candles or smoke while in bed.
  • If you smoke, use a stable ashtray or smoke outside.
  • Avoid overloading extension cords.

Candle fires and smoking-related fires are common and easily preventable causes of fire. While faulty wiring may pose a persistent risk, homeowners can also reduce electrical fire risks.

When a fire starts in any part of a house, the owner or any residents at home should try to extinguish the flames or keep the fire from spreading and evacuate. If a home fire results in damage, homeowners should rely on the expertise of a fire cleaning and restoration service in Gladstone, TN.

The Top 5 Flood Prevention Strategies

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Top 5 Flood Prevention Strategies Rain gardens can slow the rate of drainage in your commercial property in Austin Springs, TN

Five Flood Prevention Strategies

There are a number of ways for municipalities and commercial property owners to reduce the risk of flooding. Find out more about five flood prevention strategies that are already in use in flood zones and may be useful for managing flood water in Austin Springs, TN.

1. Barriers

A variety of barrier designs are used to stop flooding caused by rising surface water levels. Self-closing or manual barrier installations and dams can be ideal for inland waterways. Levees and tide gates are useful for coastlines with estuaries or sloughs.

2. Diversions

Water can be diverted on a large scale with manmade canals or floodways, temporary holding ponds or destinations in existing bodies of water. Depending on the design, diversion routes may run through basins on the surface or underground.

3. Groundwater Replenishment

One of the most effective flood prevention strategies for communities or property owners also involves controlling the flow of groundwater. Rain gardens can slow the rate of drainage. Floodplain restoration is also helpful for recharging groundwater and reducing flooding.

4. Grading

Adjusting the grading of landscaping is another effective way for commercial properties to control the flow of flood water. In general, water should flow away from the foundation of a structure and toward drainage.

5. Building Design

A structure with a properly designed building envelope and a well-maintained roof is less likely to flood or sustain water-related storm damage. If damage does occur, an owner or manager should rely on the specialized flood cleaning expertise and equipment of mitigation and restoration professionals.

Building barriers and large-scale diversions such as canals or floodways will usually require municipal or other public authorization and funding in Austin Springs, TN. Property owners and managers can pursue on-site flood prevention by adding groundwater replenishment features, adjusting the grading of a property and designing or retrofitting a structure to keep out moisture and flood water.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Event of a Fire

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Event of a Fire It's important to be prepared and have a plan ready to keep family and pets safe.

During a fire emergency in Johnson City, Tennessee, it can be essential that everybody in your home evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can also spend some time on pet preparation so that you can have a better chance of getting your pets out of danger, too.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe

  1. Practice Evacuating

In the confusion caused by a fire, it can be hard to think of everything you need to do right away. If you have a plan in place and practice it a few times, you can be better prepared to handle a fire emergency. This can not only be helpful for pet safety, but also for the safety of everyone in your household.

  1. Notice Where Your Pets Are

An important part of the planning process can be noticing where your pets usually spend their time. It can be especially helpful to note where they hide when frightened. You don’t want to put yourself at risk by spending too much time searching for your dog or cat during a fire emergency, but you can be better prepared to get yourself and your pets out as soon as possible by having a checklist of areas you can look.

  1. Keep Collars and Leashes Handy

Fires can be especially frightening to pets. By keeping their collars and leashes handy, you can more easily guide them out of the house. If you are unable to find them, it can be easier for the fire department to get them out if they are wearing collars. It can be a good idea to hang leashes by the door you are planning to evacuate through.

You can be better prepared to keep your pets safe during a fire emergency by following these safety tips. Be sure you put them to good use.

First Responders, Floods and Immunizations

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage First Responders, Floods and Immunizations There are specific immunizations that are crucial to have when you are going to be exposed to flood waters and possibly ill people.

Are you a first responder? If so, it is likely that you will be involved in an emergency flood situation in Johnson City, TN at some point in the future, if you have not been already. There are specific immunizations that are crucial to have when you are going to be exposed to flood waters and possibly ill people - keep reading to learn which ones you need, and which ones you do not need.

Vaccines That Are Not Required

The following vaccines are generally not required for first responders working within the continental United States:

  • Rabies
  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Meningococcal

There are different requirements for those working outside of the U.S., but you should be well enough protected in the U.S. as long as you have received the following two vaccines.

Hepatitis B

Any first responder who could be in contact with bodily fluids or caring for sick or injured people as part of a flood response team should receive a Hepatitis B vaccine. If you are certain that you are highly unlikely to come into contact with individuals or bodily fluids, this is not a requisite immunization, but it is still a good idea to arm yourself against Hepatitis B.

Tetanus

First responders who have not had a tetanus vaccine within the past ten years need to have boosters, according to CDC guidelines. Every adult should receive at least one booster during their lifetime - regardless of their profession. Tetanus immunization proof is generally not a strict requirement for first responders, though it is preferred by many employers. Either a tetanus/diphtheria or a tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccine is typically sufficient.

Other Considerations

Remember that there are other situations that could arise that require different vaccinations, such as working with a storm damage restoration team or being in contact with animals. Always talk with your employer and your physician before making any final decisions about what immunizations you should get as a first responder.

3 Ways To Stay Ahead of Fire Sprinkler Maintenance

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Ways To Stay Ahead of Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Becoming more involved in sprinkler maintenance is important for your safety.

When you’re the owner of a business in Johnson City, TN a multitude of tasks should be carried out to maintain your property. Unfortunately, one chore that seems to consistently fall by the wayside is sprinkler maintenance. Despite infrequent use, it’s highly important to always be vigilant about inspecting your fire sprinklers to curtail a dangerous situation or even accidental activation. Here are three ways to stay ahead of the problem and feel peace of mind knowing your building is safely prepared.

1. Commit to a weekly inspection of non-electronic sprinkler control valves. If your commercial property is equipped with non-electronic control valves, it’s crucial that you check them on a weekly basis to guarantee that they’re open. In the event of a fire, if they were closed they might as well be useless. Electronic control valves should be addressed as well, but a professional can test these during the annual fire sprinkler inspection.

2. Clean and remove any coating or residue on sprinkler heads. Since fire sprinklers don’t see a lot of action, they can gather dirt, grime or greasy residue over time that can block water from coming out properly. Sprinkler maintenance requires regular cleaning, especially in areas where these coatings can accumulate quickly, such as in kitchens.

3. Check your building’s water pressure, including the pressure running through the sprinkler system. You can probably rest assured that your sprinklers will be exposed to the same amount of water pressure as the average pressure of the water in your building. However, if you’ve dealt with water issues in the past, such as accidental activation situations that required a specialized team trained in water damage repair to handle the problem, then checking the water pressure everywhere on the property can be essential.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Becoming more involved in sprinkler maintenance is important for your safety and that of anyone else in your Johnson City, TN commercial building, so following these three ideas for greater sprinkler management can be ideal for everyone.

FAQs About Mold Standards

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial FAQs About Mold Standards Mold remediation may seem complex, but viewing mold standards can make the process easier to understand.

FAQs About Mold Standards

Whether it’s growing on ceilings, in drywall or under sinks, mold can cause substantial damage to commercial properties in Johnson City, TN. In order to better understand the process of mold remediation, it can be helpful for business owners to understand current mold standards.

What Is the Purpose of the Standards?

Having a set of standards is often important in a variety of industries, including in the restoration industry. These standards exist to:

  • Ensure that mold remediation professionals follow the most up-to-date and effective practices when removing black mold and other types of mold
  • Provide business owners and managers of commercial properties with information about the process of mold remediation
  • Establish a level of professionalism and a code of conduct that experts in mold remediation must meet

What Are the Types of Standards?

There are several standards that professionals in mold remediation may follow. The most common mold standards are from the following organizations:

  • EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  • IIRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)

What Is the Difference Between the Different Standards?

Each of the three most common mold clean standards offer guidelines for professionals to follow, but important details set one standard apart from the other. IIRC standards focus on providing restoration companies that focus on both commercial and residential mold removal with current best practices in the industry. The EPA and OSHA standards apply specifically to commercial properties in particular. Since removing mold in commercial properties can require professionals to use different types of equipment and methods than in residential properties, it’s often useful to have standards for both types of buildings.

Mold remediation may seem complex, but viewing mold standards can make the process easier to understand. Knowing the purpose of the standards, which ones are often used and the difference between various standards can be beneficial to business owners and managers.

3 Services A Disaster And Restoration Service Can Provide Your Business After A Fire

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Services A Disaster And Restoration Service Can Provide Your Business After A Fire Our SERVPRO of Washington County team is on standby and ready to respond to any kind of loss.

3 Services A Disaster And Restoration Service Can Provide Your Business After A Fire 

When your Austin Springs, TN business experiences damage from a natural disaster, such as a fire, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Ruined documents, scorched building materials and lingering odors from such an event can all be a cause for worry. However, contacting a service that handles a variety of solutions, from fire restoration to remediation, can help you plan a path of recovery that may help you help save both time and money. 

1. Building Inspection

While an insurance adjustor will likely come to inspect the affected areas of your building, a fire rebuild and restoration team may do the same so the technicians can document what has been damaged and what will need to be replaced. For example, if the fire was confined to one floor, the technicians may inspect the area to note if any sections of drywall and insulation will need to be torn out and if this will impact any structural materials on other floors. 

2. Mitigation 

Before your disaster recovery team considers any kind of fire restoration, the techs will probably perform the mitigation that is necessary to keep the damage from spreading. For instance, they might seal off certain areas to prevent smoky odors and soot from entering other parts of the building. This mitigation can be important for keeping undamaged areas clean so they will not require any restorative services later on. 

3. Restoration Services 

When your business has suffered a serious fire, restoration and rebuilding services will likely be required and a company that offers them, along with mitigation and inspection, can be helpful in this capacity. Whether you need document restoration or entire sections of your building rebuilt, a multi-service company can provide you with a variety of solutions that may suit your commercial and financial needs. 

A fire at your Austin Springs, TN business can be devastating. However, when you are aware of the kinds of services that a fire restoration and cleanup service can provide, you may feel more at ease about the future. 

Things That Go Bump in the Water Heater

3/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Things That Go Bump in the Water Heater A water heater flush is a great way to ensure that your appliance is operating smoothly.

Things That Go Bump In The Water Heater 

Have you ever been home alone in Cherokee, TN and heard a strange noise only to realize it was coming from your water heater? We often forget about this appliance until something goes wrong, and while not every noise it makes is cause for concern, giving it proper attention is necessary to keep it running smoothly for years.

One common issue that causes popping and crackling is sediment build-up. Over time, sediment collects on the bottom of the tank and around the element tubes. Every time you use your hot water, it has to force its way through this build-up, causing those noises you hear. Loose sediment can also cause rumbling sounds. Luckily, fixing this problem is easy with a water heater flush. Here's how to do it:

1. Turn Off the Power

Before you begin, make sure to shut off the power source to your water heater. This is a vital step for avoiding injury.

2. Flush the Tank

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve of your tank. Make sure the other end of the hose is in an appropriate location for drainage. Open the drain valve and let the water flow. While the tank is draining, turn on the hot water in your kitchen. Let the hot water run for a few minutes, then close the tank’s incoming water supply valve until the hose runs dry. Next, turn the supply valve on again for a final flush before turning it off again.

3. Fill It Up

With the water in your kitchen or bathroom still running, turn on the tank water supply once more. Watch the kitchen faucet run until the gaps in the water flow stop, indicating that the tank is full. Then you can turn the faucet off.

4. Turn It Back On

Once the tank is full, turn the energy supply back on. Your tank flush is complete.

A water heater flush is a great way to ensure that your appliance is operating smoothly. If you are concerned about the noises coming from your water heater, a home repair specialist can provide an expert second opinion and help you flush the unit.

What Equipment Is Used in Mold Remediation?

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Equipment Is Used in Mold Remediation? Coming in direct contact with moldy items can increase the spread of mold and can be hazardous.

What Equipment Is Used In Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation can be a substantial endeavor if your home in Austin Springs, TN has had major damage. There are often particular types of equipment, such as face masks, that are needed throughout the remediation process.

1. Gloves

Throughout the process of mold cleanup and remediation, many items may need to be removed from the home in order for the items to be cleaned. However, coming in direct contact with moldy items can increase the spread of mold and can be hazardous. Using disposable gloves is often preferable, but if non-disposable gloves are used, then the gloves need to be cleaned carefully after they are used to ensure they don’t cause mold to spread.

2. Masks

Special face masks are often used during the mold remediation process when there is extensive mold damage throughout the home. These masks allow a person to breathe in an area with black mold or other potentially hazardous types of mold without breathing in the spores. If your home has been badly damaged and you know you will need assistance in restoring your home, it’s often helpful to contact mold remediation professionals who have access to high-quality masks in order to save money, time and to protect your overall health.

3. Coverings

In addition to using gloves and masks, protective coverings for clothes and hair are often other important types of equipment used during mold remediation. Since mold spores are so small, they can easily cling to clothes or hair, which can then result in mold spreading throughout a home. Often, these types of coverings are disposable, since cleaning items that have come in contact with mold spores can actually accelerate the spread of the spores.

Gloves, face masks and coverings for clothes, shoes and hair are common pieces of equipment used in mold remediation. Using protective equipment can help prevent the spread of mold and can also help to keep anyone in a home affected by mold damage safe.

What to do when you find Mold in Your Home in Johnson City, TN

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What to do when you find Mold in Your Home in Johnson City, TN Mold testing in a Johnson City, TN home

Finding Mold in Your Home

Finding mold in your home in Johnson City, TN home can be a nerve wrecking experience. This dangerous growth is a form of fungus that can cause extensive damage to your home and the health of your family. Signs of mold inhalating range from chronic allergies, runny nose, frequent illnesses and migraines. Most common places that it can hide is in the bathroom, under sinks or wherever there is a dark, moist environment. Mold spores are likely to grow in heating and cooling units, ducts, carpet flooring and within the walls. If left untreated or unnoticed, mold spores can spread very quickly.

Mold Testing

It is important to have a proper mold test done by a trained environmental hygienist. They would be able to determine the specific type of fungus and the correct treatment to remove it. It is important to keep in mind that microbial growth does not automatically mean mold. Microbial growth can include bacteria or viruses, as these are easily killed by household cleaners such as bleach.

A mold test would include the professional taking a sample of the growth and testing it inside of a lab. The testing could include samples taken from the air or the surface of the growth. Air samples would include testing the concentration of spores in your home and then examined through a microscope. These are especially useful if the growth cannot be seen with the naked eye or is hidden within fixtures of the house.

A surface test would take a culture sample from a surface, such as a ceiling and would determine the cause.

The hygienist will be able to determine the best route for treatment. Depending on your problem, you may be able to remove it yourself or you may need to hire a professional. 

If you own your home in Tennessee, you may want to consider looking into your home owner's insurance policy as treatment may be covered.

The most common type of fungus would include Stachybotrys chartarum. This is a greenish-black substance usually caused by water leaks, water damage and excessive humidity. Large infestations are malodorous and can easily be smelled.

Ventilation

In this case, you can ventilate the room as much as possible. Many household appliances are also useful such as air conditioners and dehumidifiers to control the temperature and moisture level of the room.

When using cleaners to treat the issue, it is important to use the right chemical as recommended by a professional. Wear proper clothing and attire to protect yourself as these chemicals can be very harsh on your health and the environment.

Your home in Johnson City, TN does not have to be subject to such damage. With the proper information on the type of issue, it can be cured the right way. If you suspect that your home may have this dangerous growth, get it inspected and tested immediately. The longer you wait the problem may become increasingly worse. For more information entailing disaster restoration services and prevention, please visit www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com